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We had an interesting news item all ready to go in last week’s paper. ‘Drive-in Easter!’ was the headline. It was about a scheme to have an Easter Sunday service in the MRC parking lot in Slave Lake, where everyone would stay in their vehicles. Sort of a like a drive-in movie. But then at the last minute the organizer said it was not certain, so we had to pull the story. By now it has either happened, or not.

Lots of ‘virtual’ meetings are happening of course. From what we’ve been hearing, they have been working pretty well.

We’ve been plugging the sport of cross-country skiing a bit in recent weeks. Maybe it is better described as an outing in the woods that is good exercise rather than a sport, although it certainly can be that. But most people that do it around here are not doing it for competitive purposes.

“Skiing is a wonderful way to avoid back pains,” says one correspondent with The Leader. “The kitchen chair was designed to be used for a meal, not eight hours.”

Further, says our contact, the length of the skis makes social distancing “a natural thing to do,” should you run into somebody else on the trails.

Talking about skiing in the second week of April does sound a bit strange, but at least when this was written there was a lot of snow on the ground and our contact figures there will be good skiing for a while yet.

“The tulips may be growing somewhere, but nothing is better than spring skiing,” she says.

Check out the polls on The Leader’s Facebook group page. If enough people participate we might be able to come up with some useful idea about people’s habits and attitudes.

If you’re wondering about how the women’s emergency shelter is coping these days, here’s the answer, courtesy of executive director Shelley May Ferguson. As an essential service it is open for business. “We are receiving excellent support from the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters and the provincial government,” Ferguson says.

Oh boy. Some people are not behaving in a socially responsible manner. That’s the report from a shopper at a certain large store in Slave Lake. On one early-morning visit there last week, he said he saw all kinds of violations of the social-distancing guidelines. People pushing ahead of others, being aggressive and rude, people leaving masks and gloves in shopping carts for other people to deal with. “It makes you wonder about society,” he said in a phone conversation. “I’m disappointed.”

Good news came last week from the local Rotary Club. It amounted to this: ‘People are reading the paper!’ Of course they are. We knew that. But it’s still nice to hear about it. The item in question was the Rotary’s 777 ticket refund program. No sooner did it appear on Page 9 of the April 8 paper, Rotary was getting calls about it and started writing refund cheques and popping them in the mail. It will still take a while, as they have ordered new cheques and last we heard they had not arrived.

People are getting downright superstitious around here. Just the other day it got up to plus seven or eight and somebody in the office (who will remain nameless) said, “It sure is nice out there. But I’m not changing out of my boots into my shoes because it will snow again!’

Really? Are you joking?

‘No! That’s what happened last week. We had a nice day and I changed out of my boots and the next morning there was a foot of snow!’


Speaking about the joys of apartment living (even though we weren’t), we heard one Slave Lake building was fumigated for cockroaches recently. And at another one, one of the residents was complaining loudly about fire alarms being set off in the middle of the night. Apparently it happens often.

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